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Category Archives: Interviews

English Corner: China’s Free Speech Zone

中文 Every Friday evening, several hundred Chinese people congregate at a circular meeting area near the east gate of prestigious Renmin University in Beijing. They stand in pairs, gather in large clusters, or just mill around. They are here for a variety of personal and educational reasons, all of which involve speaking and listening in [...]

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Fare Game: A Taxi Driver Speaks

中文 Zhang Jie Yu 张建宇 is a 43 year old taxi driver from Beijing who has worked as a driver his whole adult life, having been interested in cars since he was a child. Here is his life on the road: What is your solution to heavy traffic in Beijing? All drivers need to calm [...]

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A World to Teach

Lu Kong is a 24 year old Chinese teacher who teaches Chinese in India. While at university, she studied how to teach Chinese as a foreign language and has been working in Mumbai, India’s largest city, for the last six months. She previously taught Chinese in Bali, Indonesia. Passionate about travel and cultural exchange, she [...]

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He’s Making a Fortune: The Tale of a Teller

                                      中文 Li Jiu Ming is a 58-year-old fortune teller who runs his business from his small home in a traditional Beijing hútòng 胡同 near the Yong He Lama Temple, a notable Buddhist monastery. Mr. Li is an [...]

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The Library Lady

Mao Ju is the founder of the Caochangdi Free Library in northeast Beijing, which was established in October 2010. She now has 130 young students and volunteers, ranging between the ages of one to fourteen. Day to day administration of library affairs is handled by her volunteers and the library also functions as an English [...]

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In China He Trusts: Jon Zatkin

Jon Zatkin was an American citizen who lived in Beijing, China, for over twenty-five years. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, he was a full-time actor and musician and played foreign characters in over 40 Chinese television series and films. He passed away shortly after giving this interview, in which he described his remarkable story and how [...]

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The Anti Artist

Yu Jing is the 26 year old Artistic Director for Egg Gallery in Caochangdi Village, Beijing. In addition to his gallery duties, he produces his own iconoclastic artwork, employing an eclectic variety of media to showcase his flippancy toward artistic and societal establishments. A sampling of his works and related comments follow, along with an interview. [...]

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Step Into My Kitchen: A Talk With A Sichuan Chef

  中文 Su Yong 苏 勇 is a 32 year old chef from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in China.  He has been featured on several television cooking shows, has 2,000 followers on Weibo (the Chinese Twitter) and recently opened a new Sichuan restaurant in Beijing. Sichuan cuisine is notable for its use of mouth [...]

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A Portrait of a Filmmaker as a Young Man

Guanqiao Fan is a 22 year old film student at Beijing Film Academy. He is currently in the process of editing his fourth short film 南方 (The South), which he wrote, directed and starred in. The film explores a love triangle in a coastal Chinese town set against the rising tide of materialism. We sat down [...]

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The Movie Club of Droogs (朋友)

During a rainy April morning in Beijing, a quartet of female college students are in costume and on a mission. The students, dressed like characters from the iconic 1971 film A Clockwork Orange, are on a recruitment drive for their school’s movie club. The University of International Business and Economics doesn’t exactly seem like a [...]

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